Anxiety Go Hand in Hand
YORK (Reuters Health)
- Adolescent girls with eating disorders are at risk of also developing anxiety
disorders, and vice versa, according to a new study.
Pamela K. Keel, of the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and colleagues examined
the simultaneous occurrence of eating disorders and mood disorders among 672
female twins (ages 16 to 18 years) from the Minnesota Twin Family Study.
subjects completed structured interviews that determined the presence of
anorexia or bulimia, and assessed mood, anxiety, and substance use.
disorders were highly likely to co-exist with major depression, anxiety
disorders, and nicotine dependence, the investigators report in the
International Journal of Eating Disorders.
group of 14 identical twin pairs who did not both have an eating disorder, the
risk for anxiety disorders was nonetheless increased among the
Conversely, among 52 identical twin pairs of whom only one had anxiety disorder,
those without anxiety disorders had an increased risk for eating disorders
results suggest that eating disorders and anxiety disorders share familial risk
factors," Keel said in an interview with Reuters Health. "The next step would be
to examine whether the shared transmission is explained by genetic or
environmental factors or a combination of both."
added that "the participants in the study were young (and) it is likely that
some of the participants who did not have mood disorders or substance use
disorders may develop these problems in the future."
concluded, "As participants move through the period of risk for developing
different kinds of mental disorders, we might find evidence of shared
transmission between eating disorders and other types of mental disorders."
SOURCE: International Journal of Eating Disorders,
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